December 27, 2010

Grocery Expense for the month of December

Well, I left all of you hanging before Christmas about my grocery spending during December. I overspent. Yep - Me, the queen of getting a good deal, using coupons and staying within a budget – blew it. But, it happens. As long as it doesn’t become a habit, and I can guarantee it won’t.

So here are the numbers.

The week beginning December 6th I spent $31.14. Then the week of December 13th I spent (drum roll or a big WOW) - $134.20. Yep – I broke the bank. What happened? Well, I guess I went off my “diet.” Actually I happened upon a sale that I couldn’t turn down. Boneless pork loin was on sale for $1.59 lb. I knew that this was too good of a sale to pass up and I stood there at the meat counter trying to figure out how much I could buy and fit in my freezer. Pork loin is a lean cut of meat that you can use in stir fry, as slices such as a boneless pork chop or roasted in an oven such as what I do with the Cranberry Pork Roast. My estimate is that the last time I got this cut of meat on sale this cheap was about 3 years ago. So – I bought a lot of it.

That same day there was a sale on Coke and I picked up 6 - 12 packs for $10.00. Again, over the holidays I do buy pop and when this is gone, I will not be buying anymore until around Memorial Day or the 4th of July.

So besides the meat and the pop what else did I purchase? Without giving a detailed list I bought cereal on sale for 50 cents a box, some toilet paper on sale and produce, milk, eggs, candy for Christmas, evaporated milk, fresh fruits and vegetables and a lot more. 

Then last week I spent $58.00 on some planned and unplanned purchases. I have no plans to go to the grocery store this week as we have plenty of food including produce and milk.

I had only wanted to spend at the most $30 a week but in the end I spent $223.34 for the month of December. Out of that $223.34 I spent a chunk of money stocking up on pork loin. Also I checked my records and in December 2009 I spent $387.00. So even though I was over budget for the month, I was under budget for what I spent last year.

Now it’s time to get back on track. Just because I went off budget doesn’t mean I will stay off budget. No way.

I want to encourage each and every one of you to start tracking those food prices, clip those coupons and find some kind of happy medium so that you too can chip away at the grocery bill. You may only be able to save $5 a week, but that is $5 more than you had at the beginning of the week.

While we are seeing some upswings in the economy, history tells us that we can also experience some setbacks so it is important to be proactive and do what you can to save money. As a homemaker I have a responsibility to make sure that my family is provided for. I have a responsibility to prepare for hard times that could come our way by being careful of the money I spend today. I am more and more conscious of my resources that I already have and making good use of them.

When it comes to saving money, I think it all comes down to being aware of what is going on around you. Know your food prices and know when a sale is a sale. Read your newspaper, especially the business section. I read it daily and notice anything about prices in food going up or down or gasoline going up or down as knowledge is power. If you read that the price of beef is expected to rise, and that very week you see a sale on ground beef, you better stock up as it may be the last good sale for a long time.

What can you make from scratch that will save you money? Can you buy some items in bulk and split the purchase with a friend?

I have no idea what is going to happen in 2011. I do know that our youngest child will graduate from high school and go to college. I also know that we want to plan and budget for a trip to Washington D.C. as a graduation gift for him. I also know we need a new roof and new front porch for our house. These are all things that we are planning for 2011 and there will probably be some unexpected financial bumps along the way.

I have changed so much this year in the way I view our finances and how I see my role as a “non-working” (okay, you know what I mean) member of the family. I contribute to our finances even though I am not earning an income. My contribution is valuable to our family and in 2011 I look forward to perfecting a new found “skill” of delaying unnecessary purchases and putting money in the bank.

3 comments:

Maureen said...

One of my New Year Resolutions is too shop wisely, so like you I,ll be keeping an eye out for bargains, and restocking my freezer.
I want to smack you across the fingers for refering to yourself as non working, however I noticed you had already pulled yourself up about that description.
Looking forward to 2011

halfdozendaily said...

I lost track over the last couple weeks, BUT, I hit my emergency savings goal a month early, so I know that I did pretty good overall anyways! Sometimes you just have to 'roll with it'! I'm sure you'll get right back on track!

Martha said...

Maureen:

Yep - I'm a non income producing - money saving lady. Kind of hard to describe that.

Halfdozendaily:

Yahoo for you - one month early in meeting a goal is tremendous.

Martha